20th March (yesterday) was International Day of Happiness. Today, we are celebrating Harmony Day in Australia. It’s a day where we celebrate cultural diversity and the wonderful multiculturalism that makes up Australia.
I thought this would be a great day to give a big shout out to all my wonderful friends, family, clients and colleagues that I’ve worked with from all corners of the globe. You have contributed to my happiness metre. Knowing you has helped me develop, grow and become the person I am today.
What does happiness mean?
Happiness, in my book, is being contented with living in the moment. It’s all about embracing what you have and being grateful for each and every opportunity that comes your way.
Yes, I have experienced some tough times in both my personal life and business life. But each moment that I’ve been through has grown me as a person. It has made me who I am today.
If you are one of my clients or students, you’ll know I often refer to FAIL as First Attempt In Learning. If we do not fail, then we often miss out on extremely valuable lessons.
The biggest happiness lesson
Happiness is not measured by how much you have or by where you are. Rather it comes from within.
You and I are each responsible for our own happiness. We cannot blame others if we are unhappy, nor can we expect them to fix things for us.
I’ve met so many people with so very little in their lives, yet they are happy. In contrast I also know people surrounded by abundance, with not a monetary care in the world, yet they are desperately unhappy.
Of course our happiness metre can increase when in the company of certain people or doing certain activities, but that is just a short-term boost.
If you constantly feel unhappy, you may be suffering from depression, and there is no shame in that. There is help available and I would encourage anyone who has been feeling low for more than a couple of weeks to seek out professional support. You do not have to travel this road alone.
Happiness and business
Being in business is tough. Being in business for yourself is even tougher. It can be stressful. Heck, it is stressful.
BUT, it does come down to your attitude and outlook. Being willing to reach out, by maintaining a positive outlook and being prepared to adapt and change to suit circumstances all contribute to your internal happiness with your business.
Setting achievable goals, working with a business plan, utilising expertise and mapping out time for yourself to refresh, reframe and relax away from your business are all contributing to your happiness equation.
I’ve had my back to the wall, struggled to pay bills and had to negotiate payment plans. What I teach and espouse is all based on personal experience.
My personal experience is what has added to my knowledge base. It has actually been of benefit because I have gained capacity to truly understand the needs of my SME clients. I did not learn just via a course or text-book, but in the school of life, and this is what now affords me testimonials like these:
I have found working with Michelle to be very valuable. She provides clear, easy guidance with keen insight to your particular business needs.
You may feel that in tough times you need to tighten your belt. Yes, you do.
But that does not mean you cannot afford to help others. Donating your time is one of the most valuable gifts of all.
As a business, at Dragon Sisters, we have always offered pro-bono support rather than cash. Our inkind services are far more valuable than any cash contribution we can afford to make, and as a result of the pro-bono support we get a nice warm and fuzzy feeling inside. It makes us feel happy to have helped someone else.
You can help out in so many different ways, a few hours a week, a month or a year. It’s all valuable and valued.
Your happiness metre
It’s a little place inside you. A place where you store up all the wonderful feelings and experiences.
Each good thing you do, each experience and each achievement, all feed your happiness metre. The more you feed the metre, the more reserve you have to tap into when there are tough moments to encounter.
Wishing you happiness today and everyday.
Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.